WhatsApp Payments should not be approved in a hurry

Following the recent revelation that Israeli spyware Pegasus was used to target at least 1,400 lawyers and activists globally, of which about 20 were Indian, the Indian govt, and now various cyber-security experts, are suggesting that the decision to approve the rollout of  Pay should not be taken hastily. WhatsApp is at the heart of this controversy because it was one of the many vectors used to spread the Pegasus.

According to a report by IANS, cyber law expert Pavan Duggal said, “WhatsApp payment needs to be seen with a microscopic eye, primarily because in you will be dealing with sensitive personal data and cyber-security is going to be an essential building block component for WhatsApp to demonstrate its due diligence.”

Duggal added that the government must not hurry in granting WhatsApp a license for the future unless it is absolutely sure of the platform adhering to all the required cyber-security norms and Indian laws.

Prashant Mali, a cyber lawyer at Bombay High Court also agreed with Duggal saying, “It (WhatsApp) didn't follow reasonable security practices as mandated in Section 43A of the IT Act, 2000. In fact, it abetted the crime of unauthorised access too. Granting WhatsApp Pay licence should be given a second thought by the Reserve Bank of India”.

This comes right after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that WhatsApp Pay will soon be launched in India.

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